Wolfram Alpha, Airplane Stalker.
Okay, this is awesome. Go to WolframAlpha.com (a site that's like Google if Google was a huge science dork), and search "flights overhead." Yes, just those words. Now sit back for a millisecond until WolframAlpha returns with a list of the flights currently overheard you at that very moment.
This is the hottest little time waster on the internet today, and we may just stay addicted to it throughout the holidays. There's no need to live near an airport, either, as WolframAlpha picks up on planes cruising up above as well as ones coming in for a landing.
Our resultsas we're currently in the triangle formed by JFK, LGA and EWRreturned an AirBerlin flight en route from Düsseldorf to Fort Myers, FL. It's crazy to think that a website can let us know that there's a couple hundred Germans directly overheard, each of them dreaming of the Florida sunshine they'll enjoy in under three hours.
Once you're staring at a list of flights, go ahead and click one to see its departure and destination airports, schedule, current position, flight path, speed, heading and a slew of other details that makes it seem like WolframAlpha is just one big airplane stalker.
Alas, the site does have its kinks and errors. In MSNBC's big article on the feature, they note that not all planes use the technology that WolframAlpha uses to find them, and others "stem from delays in the data from FAA."
Still, we think it's pretty nifty and worthy of a bookmark. Oh lookthere's an AirTran flight to Atlanta that's just taken off from LGA. Hold all our calls; we're busy.